Stays and Corsets: Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body is by Mandy Barrington, a senior lecturer in costume at Arts University Bournemouth. (She hasn't posted to Tumblr in a while, but you can see some great images of her work there!)
The book consists of thorough instructions on drafting corset patterns based on patterns of extant pieces and modern bodice slopers, similar to the system used in Creating Historical Clothes. (And, incidentally, it teaches you how to draft your own slopers from scratch.)
The patterns it contains are as follows:
- 1735-1750 sleeved stays (with stomacher; sleeves not included)
- 1776 half-boned stays (ie, the Didierot stays)
- 1785-1788 half-boned stays (I would probably date these later, ca. 1795 - they're pretty short and light)
- 1793 short stays (from Waugh's Corsets & Crinolines)
- 1820 white cotton corset
- 1860 solid-busk, corded corset (the red and black striped one from Jill Salen's Corsets)
- 1875 corded and quilted corset (black and yellow, also in Corsets)
- 1890 underbust riding corset
- 1890 corset
These cover the basic costuming epochs: Revolutionary War, Regency, American Civil War, and bustle periods (right? These seem like the most common genres to me), with a few extras to fill in the holes. So that is very satisfactory! Just in terms of being a kind of corsetry bible, I would like to see strapless 18th century stays, an 1840 corset, an Edwardian corset, early 1910s corset, and a solid 1920s brassiere - but it says on Ms. Barrington's bio page that she's working on a second book, which I suspect will contain most if not all of these.
|Photo of one of the corsets made for the book, from Mandy Barrington's Tumblr|
However, the system of drafting itself is very well explained and appears potentially adaptable to other patterns, such as those in Corsets and Corsets & Crinolines that don't appear here. This manual is probably best suited for people used to modern pattern drafting who need help shifting to historical silhouettes, and I'd also recommend it for people who don't know any way to make use of patterns from extant garments. If you fall into either of these categories, put this on your wish list!